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Time Off for Dependants

Key Points

  • From 15th December 1999 all employees are entitled to a reasonable amount of unpaid time off work to deal with emergencies involving a dependant (as defined in Employment Rights Act 1996 s.57A) and not to be dismissed or subjected to a detriment for doing so.
  • If a person is dismissed, including being selected for redundancy, for exercising or seeking to exercise this right, the dismissal will be automatically unfair (ERA 1996 s.99).
  • Further, in such a case the employee will not need to have completed the normal (12 month) qualifying period of continuous employment to be entitled to claim unfair dismissal as the dismissal will be because he attempted to assert a statutory right (for which no qualifying period of employment is needed - see ERA 1996 s.108 together with ERA 1996 s.104 

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